Beyond Money
Learning steps

Door Step School makes the dreams of education of underprivileged children come true

During her MSW (master’s in social work) internship with a municipal school in Colaba (Mumbai), Bina Lashkari was required to do a follow-up on drop-outs. On her field visits then, she came to know that children were not coming to school because they were working at the docks nearby, loading and unloading cargo and assisting the fishermen. Many such children were well past their school-going age but had no avenues to study because their job timings were inflexible.

“At that juncture, I started teaching a small group of children in the Babasaheb Ambedkar Nagar slum,” Ms Lashkari recalls. “Interaction with these children inspired me to continue teaching. After completing my post-graduation, with the guidance of my teacher Rajani Paranjpe, I continued teaching the kids. This is how the idea of setting up a school emerged. This school was to deliver learning at the doorstep of every child,” she explains.

So Door Step School was set up in 1988 in Mumbai with the aim to facilitate the education of children from impoverished backgrounds. The NGO helps children of pavement- and slum-dwellers, construction workers and daily wage-earners. Since inception, it has reached out to more than 50,000 children in 125 different locations.

A year after it was started in Mumbai, Door Step School extended its reach to Pune. Initially, Ms Lashkari had to fund the programme herself. Then, Shaila Welfare Trust and CRY came forward to support the initiative. “The earlier days were hard,” she says, “there was no support from local authorities; no space for classrooms; no funds for paying the programme staff; shortage of staff willing to work in slums; and absence of students due to time constraints and migration.”

However, after 23 years, Door Step School now enrols 1,000 children annually in municipal schools. Regular surveys are conducted at slums and other pockets of the city where out-of-school children are likely to be found. The staff follows up on the visits, meeting the children and their parents to convince them of the benefits of education. The initial aim is to enrol children and make them attend classes regularly. Parent-teacher meetings are conducted periodically and, through inter-community networks, more children are included in the programme. “The children are enrolled in Door Step School classrooms (i.e., their non-formal classrooms) any time of the year,” said Ms Lashkari.

Apart from support classes and out-of-school guidance, the NGO also runs care centres for younger siblings of the students, arranges for school transport, runs mobile classrooms and provides library facilities. “Many students from our school have gone on to finish high school and obtain college degrees. They have returned to take leadership at Door Step School and in their communities,” said Ms Lashkari.

Take Hanumanta Deora, for example. At the age of nine, while working at the docks, he started his studies with Door Step School. He graduated with a diploma from the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition in Mumbai, and is now working in New York at the Carnival Cruise. Rehmuddin Shaikh was enrolled in the balwadi class at the age of three and also developed his passion for rugby. Today, he balances his time as an administrative assistant and is coaching the Mumbai Magicians rugby team. He is still associated with Door Step School. He recently won a gold medal in  the National Games for a team rugby event.

Door Step School plans to scale up its activities this year to include more children and extend its outreach. Professionals like doctors, counsellors, lawyers and social entrepreneurs can voluntarily offer their service to the organisation. Door Step School also welcomes volunteers who can help design teaching aids, provide teacher training, organise activities and act as coordinators or software developers for various projects. Donations to Door Step School are exempt under Section 80(G) of the Income-Tax Act.

Door Step School

2nd floor, Jagannath Shankarsheth Municipal School Building,
Grant Road, Nana Chowk,
Mumbai – 400 007
Tel: 98210 58655
[email protected]
www.doorstepschool.org

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Banks flout RBI rules on retaining account numbers after the demise of a joint account-holder

In 2008, the apex bank had clearly specified the rules and regulations on the addition or deletion of a joint account-holder’s name under specific circumstances. However, this rule is not being followed 

Reserve Bank of India regulations clearly specify that a bank has to maintain an account in the name of a joint account-holder, on the demise of a primary or joint account-holder. But a few instances have come to light where banks are openly flouting these rules-and putting a number of bereaved families under pressure.   

Take the case of Pune-based resident Anil Agashe, who held a joint savings account along with his father in HDFC Bank's Satara (in Maharashtra) branch. After his father's demise, he approached the bank to delete his father's name and continue with the account in his name. However, the bank informed Mr Agashe that "as per the rules of the bank" the account would be closed on the death of the first account holder and a new account will have to be opened in Mr Agashe's name.

But while this move might seem logical, it actually creates a number of problems for the surviving account-holder. For example, the existing account number might be having an ECS facility for direct credit of mutual fund dividend amounts or a direct debit facility for paying of utility bills.

The surviving joint account-holder will then have to spend time and money informing all the entities linked to the previous account number, the 'new' account number.  

In this case, being an ex-bank employee himself, Mr Agashe demanded in writing about the bank's rules, since the joint account was operating with "either or survivor" status. In fact, the RBI allows simple deletion of a deceased person's name from a particular account.

After many meetings with the bank manger, Mr Agashe was told that there was a "way out" to continue with the account. Later, his account was changed from a senior citizen zero-balance account to a regular savings account.

In the e-mail Mr Agashe had sent to the bank's managing director Aditya Puri, for the trouble he had gone through, HDFC Bank replied to the message, admitting its mistake and blamed the core banking system for the problem.

"As you have correctly stated, regulatory guidelines, vide Master Circular dated 3rd November 2008, allow for such deletion/addition of joint holders in an account if the circumstances warrant. In deference to these guidelines, the Bank has raised a request for suitable changes in its Core Banking system to accommodate this functionality. However, as the Core Banking platform of the Bank itself is undergoing a change to a new system, all systemic developments have been kept in abeyance till the system changeover. Hence, in the interim, we are continuing with our extant practices in this matter," the bank said in the e-mailed reply.

Such a reply comes as a surprise, since these RBI guidelines were issued way back in 2008-and why have they not been implemented? Is blaming the core banking system any excuse?

Mr Agashe told Moneylife, "When I used to work with a bank way back in 1977, we used to simply delete the deceased person's name after verifying the death certificate. There were no such guidelines then, RBI in 2008 just reissued these guidelines. The bank manger himself had no idea about the master circulars.

"My objection is that a bank can't have a procedure which is at variance with RBI guidelines. This will carry an operational risk on part of the bank," he explained.

Sources have confirmed to Moneylife that the RBI would be taking up this issue with the bank. It is also known that these issues regarding consumer banking will be addressed in the report on customer services, which the panel headed by M Damodaran has to table.

Having been a banker himself, Mr Agashe got his issue resolved. But what about other customers who don't know their rights? "Many people are unaware of the rules and regulations of the RBI, which gives an easy route for banks to get away with their poor services," says Mr Agashe.

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COMMENTS

KAIALSH SINGHAL

2 years ago

CAN A PERSON HAVE BANK ACCOUNT IN THE NAME OF ESTATE OF DEMISED PERSON BY OBTAINING PAN NUMBER IN THE NAME OF ESTATE OF DEMISED PERSON SO TO CONTINUE THE BENEFITS OF INCOME TAX LIKE LOSSES TO BE CARRIED FORWARD REMAINS CONTINUE

Colonel Arun Gupta

3 years ago

Banks offer different types of joint account relationships. Here are a few.

EITHER OR SURVIVOR
This is the most common type of joint account and is applicable between any two individuals. For example, if a husband and wife have a joint account with 'either or survivor' clause, either of them can operate the account and in the case of the death of one of the depositors, the other can continue or the final balance in the account along with all interests (as applicable at the time of closure) will be paid to the survivor.
If there is a nominee for the account, the conditions will be the same and the nominee gets access to the funds on the death of both the account holders.

ANYONE OR SURVIVOR
This type of account is normally held when more than two individuals start an account jointly. Here, any of the depositors can operate the account at a time and in case if any of the depositors expire, the others can continue the account and if required, the final balance along with interest will be paid to any of the survivor/s as requested.

FORMER OR SURVIVOR
In this type of joint account, only the first account holder can operate the account. The second depositor gets the right only on the death of the first after undergoing some basic formalities like submission of proof of death etc.

LATTER OR SURVIVOR
This is similar to the former or survivor, but the difference is that, in this type of account, only the second account holder (latter) can operate the account. The survivor or the former account holder gets access to the fund only on death of the latter and on producing the proof for the same.

MINOR'S ACCOUNT
A savings bank account can also be opened in the name of a minor jointly with a guardian. Here, only the guardian is supposed to operate the account on behalf of the minor. The guardian should be parents or in special cases, a legal guardian, as appointed by court. Some banks allow minors above the age of 12 to open and operate accounts independently.

THINGS TO REMEMBER
• Any mandate / power of attorney for operating a joint account or authorizing another person on behalf of the depositors, is to be given by all account holders or with the consent of all account holders.
• All operational instructions and information in connection with the relationships formed is to be given by all the joint account holders irrespective of the mode of operation.
• If there is a nominee to a joint account, the nominee gets access to the account only when all the account holders cease to exist. In case if both the account holder and nominee is no more, the legal heirs of depositor/s will get the funds.
• In case of a joint account, all the depositors are singly and jointly liable for overdraft if any, even if the application / demand promissory note is signed by one of them.

REPLY

nagesh kini

In Reply to Colonel Arun Gupta 3 years ago

Thanks Col. sab,
Please keep updating lay readers with such useful infos. Keep it up, may your tribe increase!

Colonel Arun Gupta

3 years ago

DearAll,

Here are some extracts and definitions for general consumption

RBI Circular Extracts

5.8.8 Addition or deletion of the name/s of joint account holders.
A bank may, at the request of all the joint account holders, allow the addition or deletion
of name/s of joint account holder/s if the circumstances so warrant or allow an individual
depositor to add the name of another person as a joint account holder. However, in no
case should the amount or duration of the original deposit undergo a change in any
manner in case the deposit is a term deposit.

19.6.1 Nomination facility in respect of deposits
(i) Nomination facility is intended for individuals including a sole proprietary
concern.
(ii) Rules stipulate that nomination shall be made only in favour of individuals. As
such, a nominee cannot be an Association, Trust, Society or any other Organisation or
any office-bearer thereof in his official capacity. In view thereof any nomination other
than in favour of an individual will not be valid.
(iii) There cannot be more than one nominee in respect of a joint deposit account.
(iv) Banks may allow variation/cancellation of a subsisting nomination by all the
surviving depositor(s) acting together. This is also applicable to deposits having
operating instructions " either or survivor".
(v) In the case of a joint deposit account the nominee's right arises only after the
death of all the depositors.

19.7 Customer Guidance and Publicity Educating Customers
on the Benefits of nomination / survivorship clause
(i) The nomination facility is intended to facilitate expeditious settlement of claims in the accounts of deceased depositors and to minimise hardship caused to the family
members on the death of the depositors. The banks should endeavour to drive home to
their constituents the benefit of nomination facilities and ensure that the message
reaches all the constituents by taking all necessary measures for popularising the
nomination facility among their constituents.
(ii) Banks should give wide publicity and provide guidance to deposit account holders on
the benefits of the nomination facility and the survivorship clause. Illustratively, it should
be highlighted in the publicity material that in the event of the death of one of the joint
account holders, the right to the deposit proceeds does not automatically devolve on the
surviving joint deposit account holder, unless there is a survivorship clause.

20.1 Accounts with survivor/nominee clause
20.1.1. In the case of deposit accounts where the depositor had utilized the nomination facility and made a valid nomination or where the account was opened with the survivorship clause ("either or survivor", or "anyone or survivor", or "former or survivor" or "latter or survivor"), the payment of the balance in the deposit account to the survivor(s)/nominee of a deceased deposit account holder represents a valid discharge
of the bank's liability provided :
(a) the bank has exercised due care and caution in establishing the identity of the survivor(s) / nominee and the fact of death of the account holder, through appropriate documentary evidence;
(b) there is no order from the competent court restraining the bank from making the payment from the account of the deceased; and
(c) it has been made clear to the survivor(s) / nominee that he would be receiving the payment from the bank as a trustee of the legal heirs of the deceased depositor, i.e.,
such payment to him shall not affect the right or claim which any person may have against the survivor(s) / nominee to whom the payment is made.

20.1.2. It may be noted that since payment made to the survivor(s) / nominee, subject to
the foregoing conditions, would constitute a full discharge of the bank's liability, insistence on production of legal representation is superfluous and unwarranted and only serves to cause entirely avoidable inconvenience to the survivor(s) / nominee and would, therefore, invite serious supervisory disapproval. In such case, therefore, while making payment to the survivor(s) / nominee of the deceased depositor, the banks
should desist from insisting on production of succession certificate, letter of
administration or probate, etc., or obtain any bond of indemnity or surety from the survivor(s) /nominee, irrespective of the amount standing to the credit of the deceased account holder.

Some Definitions

A deposit account is a savings account, current account, or other type of bank account, at a banking institution that allows money to be deposited and withdrawn by the account holder. These transactions are recorded on the bank's books, and the resulting balance is recorded as a liability for the bank and represents the amount owed by the bank to the customer. Some banks may charge a fee for this service, while others may pay the customer interest on the funds deposited.

Joint account is a bank account shared by two or more individuals. Any individual who is a member of the joint account can withdraw from the account and deposit to it. Usually, joint accounts are shared between close relatives or business partners.

Joint accounts are often created in order to avoid probate. If two individuals open a joint account and one of them dies, the other person is entitled to the remaining balance and liable for the debt of that account.

PS-Dear Nagesh - if your problems still exist call me.

REPLY

nagesh kini

In Reply to Colonel Arun Gupta 3 years ago

I've no problem Col.
You've done it absolutely right by providing direct quotes from the relevant RBI circular, which are unambigious and crystal clear. The bank officials defaulting need to be hauled over the coals for unnecessary harassment.

Colonel Arun Gupta

3 years ago

Dear Sirs,

I also have had some interesting anecdotes to narrate concerning the Banking and Financial Sectors. Perhaps each incident can be worth an article or so. However, all these incidents bring out one lesson very clearly: If you are prepared to do your homework and pursue your grievance with the appropriate authorities, nobody can take you for a ride.

In my first skirmish with a Nationalised Bank a few years back, they refused to pay me the interest on a decade old fixed deposit. This was despite my clear instructions on the subject (for renewal for a 10 year period in 1997). It was after my complaint to the CMD of the bank and involving the Banking Ombudsman; the FD was renewed retrospectively for 10 years at the interest rate prevailing in 1997.

In another incident, wrong advice by an official of a Bank (concerning my FDs) resulted in a financial loss of almost 40K. Complaints at GM level did not work. However, a complaint to CMD of the bank; involving the Banking Ombudsman; and vigorous follow up, the Bank Official was held personally responsible by the Head Office of the Bank and was ordered to make good the loss.

Another incident involving a leading life insurance company resulted in the insurance company reimbursing me to the tune of 60K.

I came across your article while doing a Google search when a Nationalised Bank refused to close a Joint account (Either or Survivor) where my Late wife was the first holder & I was the second holder; the account balance was NIL. I had submitted the Death Certificate and a copy of my late wife's will as well (Bequeathing everything to me) to them and a request letter.

Similarly in another Joint account (Either or Survivor) where I was the first holder and my Late wife the second, the Bank refused to delete her name from the account. To add insult to injury they even refused to allow me to change the nominee without signatures of both myself and my late wife. When I asked the manager as to how can I get the signatures of my Late Wife without going to heaven and being reborn, he simply replied that he cannot flout Bank Rules. This was simply preposterous and belied all logic.

That evening I came back home feeling a bit frustrated and peeved; did the Google Search, found your article, down-loaded the Master Circular on Customer Service issued by RBI dated 03 Nov 2008, read all 93 pages, browsed the Bank's website for information on the subject and generally educated myself on the rules. Next day (Sunday) I sent a SMS to the Manager to call me back as his phone was not reachable. He called back in a couple of minutes.I apprised him of your article and the RBI Circular and asked him to take appropriate action on my requests. He requested me to mail him the copies of both. The action was completed the very next day itself. Of course the threat of an RTI also helped.

Your magazine is doing a yeomen service in the field of educating the people. However, there is a need to be pro-active so that the common man can approach the right person for redressal of his grievances.

Colonel Arun Gupta (Veteran)
Certified Financial Planner
[email protected]
http://www.ColGupta.com
Mob +91-9810104100
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd2dftEPj...

REPLY

nagesh kini

In Reply to Colonel Arun Gupta 3 years ago

Dear Col.,
You seem to a gold mine for bank and insurance harassments!
You do need to make them out in short writeups that can serve to wake up the Regulators - RBI and IRDA.
It is rightly said - "Latho ke booth batho sey nahi manathey". It is so true. People like you ought to rise in raising your voices. Once shaken things do move!
All the best.

nagesh kini

3 years ago

The HDFC Bank needs to answer as to how they will deal with ECS credits for interests and dividends and debits for utility payments that are standing instructions issued long back and will continue to remit to the account in their record.
That's precisely why the existing account with only the name of the deceased deleted and that of the nominee is addedis required to continue undisturbed. It is plain and simple common sense.
At the most the Customer Services Department/CSD of the RBI needs to reaffirm this by clarifying on its earlier Master Circular.
The HDFC Bank top management blaming the Core Banking or Finacle is just nonsense.
I've had a lenghty discussion on this very issue with a senior banking programming expert from TCS. He tells me that deleting the name with duty authority is no big deal and the anamolies/ glitches if any in the system can easily be rectified as required by the bank managed.
This matter needs to be taken up de novo with the HDFC Bank as well as RBI CSD.

Colonel Arun Gupta

3 years ago

Master Circular on Customer Service - 03 Nov 2008

Saptashree Bondal

5 years ago

HDFC Pune is still making the same "mistake" and I am just the latest casualty. I recently had to open a separate account in my name after I was "blocked" from the Joint Account held in the names of both my parents and myself as my Father- Primary Account holder - recently passed away. My Mother had earlier passed away in late-2009 but her name was still part of the account. The HDFC Officers acted as though they are experts on RBI rules on such matters.

Why is it not possible for RBI to ensure that these "esteemed" banks, esp. one as well known as HDFC, actually know the RBI's rules before causing their innocent and helpless customers even more trouble? I now have to write to every single company/fund house in which my family holds shares/units to request them to change bank details - just as given in the above article.

How can India ever be a real "superpower", esp. in the world of banking and finance, with such ignorant people running/working in supposedly well-run banks??

REPLY

Saptashree Bondal

In Reply to nagesh kini 5 years ago

Thank you very much for your advice, Mr. Kini. I will do so promptly.

Vimal

In Reply to nagesh kini 5 years ago

In my case I wrote to the sbh compaint email id given on their website.I got prompt reply and the mail was forwarded to DGM mumbai.

Next time when I went with the mail of DGM mumbai, the problem was solved and they allowed me to 'add' my name to my mothers account.Thus making it a joint account

What happens in such cases is people at the branch are lazy.As Mr. Kini pointed out, there are generally technical problems with their back end provider.The software probably doesn't allow for deletion/addition of name.The branch and bank won't get these softwares updated, because third party software providers will probably charge them.So they take the convenient route and ask the customer to open a new account.

You case is deletion of name.Please refer to this circular to know what RBI rules state http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Content/...

Then write a detailed email(attaching scan of death certificate etc.) and send complaint emails to hdfc bank authorities.Tell them that opening a new account is not feasible coz of sending the account nos. to many companies.

They will probably reprimand officials at branch and your problem might get solved.This worked in my case.

Saptashree Bondal

In Reply to Vimal 5 years ago

Thanks very much for your valuable input, Mr. Vimal. Really appreciate your help and Mr.Kini's too.

Nagesh KiniFCA

5 years ago

It is not that the Banks are violating RBI directives.
Catholic Syrian Bank told me that their Finacle Platform has not provided for formal DELETION of names even though they take on record the death after submission of the Death Certificate and make a mention of it by way of a note on the account, the name of the deceased continues.
The account without requiring it to be closed has be continued on account long standing ECS In and Out.
The deletion will have to take place in the event of legal separations like divorce.
Long after one of the depositors is death they insist on the signature of the dead one and say they are helpless even after being told that he is 'upstairs' and the death certificate is the only document and Yama Raj's back office is not programmed to confirm this!
The post-Damodaran RBI has to implement this by bringing in a appropriate programme amendments incl. Finacle which should not be an issue.

vimal

5 years ago

SBH is not allowing my mom to convert her single account to joint.Its saying the same thing." close this account and open a new joint account."I read the master circular on customer service issued by RBI(http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Content/PDFs/88145.pdf).

In point 5.8.8 it does talk about allowing customers to add or delete names.But the point is valid for only term deposits.(fixed deposits).Can you reference me to the exact circular point where RBI mentions addition of name by single account holder to convert it to Joint account.

REPLY

vimal

In Reply to vimal 5 years ago

Here I was talking about converting single savings account to Joint account.

Nagesh KiniFCA

6 years ago

This has happened with me with two banks.
According to them their Finacle program had no provision for deleting of names including those on dead clients on either or survivor basis nor can they add the names of the nominee. This was possible in the manual system. The core banking ought to be revisited to bring about this correction that is absolutely warranted today. I entirely concur with Mr. Agashe's stand.

Sharad Phadke

6 years ago

Basically RBI is the worst controlling authority over the Banks. Yes, they do make some good rules but then there is no action or control over these rules. If asked under RTI they just reply our circular it self is our rules,regulations, norms, guideline, there are no time limits set, no audit has been conducted on this and so many like this. They have just given the guidelines to Banks! If it is to be adhere then adhere other wise we will look for the bridge when we come to it.
Now the question is how to force RBI on one of such circular?
All the information supplied is true and so no question of going to CIC and getting them enforcement order.
If complaint to Ombudsman he never acknowledge even your mail.
So experts retired from RBI should guide or can suggest remedies on problems with RBI.
In one of my RTI they have said "We have not done any audit under the " Payment & Settlement System Act"
So how do you expect HDFC to adhere to rules? HDFC/ICICI and all other banks including PSU are there to squeeze money from you for one reason or other and make profit.

REPLY

sucheta

In Reply to Sharad Phadke 6 years ago

Dear Mr Phadke

Many thanks for your interest in this. Actually, we at Moneylife have followed this up with the RBI. And I must tell you that RBI is far better than SEBI or IRDA...

RBI has already asked HDFC Bank to change the rules, is what we understand from our sources. The bank's answer is surprising and unacceptable. And its not the first time either!
best regards
Sucheta

Vikas Gupta

6 years ago

Very good article. There is at least one Forum"Moneylife" which is awaring General Public. Please let me know one thing that My Savings Account had been Credited 3 Times in the last F.Y. & the HDFC Bank is unable to tell me the Names of the Persons from whom my Savings Account have been Credited. How should I proceed further as the bank has refused to give me any other information in this context except that the Direct Credits had been effected from Citibank Accounts.

Share prices still lack strength to rally: Thursday Closing Report

Watch for Nifty to close above 5,450 for a possible short rally

The market opened positive, tracking gains across Asia. The Sensex started at 18,167, while the Nifty opened at 5,448, the identical opening level yesterday. A rise in commodity prices in the international market supported gains in metals and oil & gas stocks in early trade. Banking stocks were also in demand, after being down for two days following the dismal numbers by the State Bank of India. Market performance was range-bound and the indices stayed within Wednesday's high and low. The Sensex closed 55 points up at 18,141 and the Nifty closed eight points up at 5,428.

The market remained range-bound, even as weekly food inflation numbers for early May came in lower at 7.47%. Turnkey engineering major Larsen & Toubro's (L&T) better-than-expected numbers helped the company's stock take the top gainer's position on the Sensex, though the market seemed to overlook the development.

The intra-day movement on the Sensex was between 18,058 and 18,198 while the Nifty traded between 5,411 and 5,453. The Nifty will be strengthen for a few days only above 5,450.

The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange was 548:1142.

The broader markets underperformed the Sensex today, as the BSE Mid-cap index declined 0.70% and the BSE Small-cap index was down 0.54%.

In the sectoral space, BSE Capital Goods (up 2.82%), BSE Oil & Gas (up 1.16%) and BSE IT (up 0.34%) were the top gainers. BSE Realty (down 2.87%), BSE Metal (down 0.98%) and BSE Power (down 0.85%) were the main losers.

L&T (up 5.92%), Reliance Industries (up 1.45%), ONGC (up 1.20%), TCS (up 1.14%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (up 1.11%) were the top performers on the Sensex. The laggards were led by Reliance Communications (down 3.43%), DLF (down 3.35%), Hindalco Industries (down 3.14%), Tata Power (down 2.60%) and Hero Honda (down 2.31%).

Continuing on its downward trend, the country's food inflation slipped further to 7.47% for the week ended 7th May, from 7.70% in the previous week. This is the lowest rate of price rise in food items in the last 18 months, since separate data for food inflation started coming in. It is also the third consecutive week that food inflation has been lower.

Commenting on the decline, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said, "Both in food inflation and overall Whole Price Index (WPI) inflation there is a declining trend."

Markets in Asia, which opened strong this morning, settled mixed on the decline in Japanese gross domestic product (GDP) in the March quarter. GDP fell to an annualised 3.7% in the three-month period, exceeding analysts' estimates, pushing the country into its third recession. South Korean electronics major Samsung Electronics declined 1.5% after Gartner reported the company's share of the mobile handset market slipped to 16.1% from 18% earlier.

Singapore's benchmark Straits Times closed up 1% on news that its economy grew 22.5% in the first quarter of 2011 on an annualized, seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis.

The Hang Seng gained 0.66%, the Jakarta Composite rose 0.51%, the KLSE Composite added 0.18% and the Straits Times surged 1%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite fell by 0.45%, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.43%, the Seoul Composite tumbled 1.89% and the Taiwan Weighted lost 0.58%.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of equities on Wednesday, offloading stocks worth Rs379.44 crore. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of shares worth Rs27.46 crore.

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